appScatter is an app distribution and management platform that is increasingly being adopted by leading global brands and digital agencies. Started in 2013, the platform integrates with the world’s top app stores and helps with increased audience reach, efficient app management, and centralised reporting. It enables developers and publishers to manage and track the performance of their own and competing apps across all the app stores on the platform.
We caught up with Jason Hill, Chief Revenue Officer at appScatter to learn more about the business and its future plans.
How did appScatter come about? Tell us a little about your origins.
Our Founder and CEO, Philip Marcella, has been building apps since early 2002. Back then, there were only around 30,000 apps. In building many hundreds of apps for clients, he and his team found the process of performance reporting and rolling out updates time consuming and laborious. So they built an in-house solution that could bring client reports into one place and enable the development team to efficiently deploy app updates. The system was so popular with customers and developers that he realised there was a wider commercial application.
By 2013 he was living in Boston and worked with colleagues at MIT to feasibility test the product idea. That same year, appScatter was established and the first lines of code were written in 2014. In 2016 the platform was released privately to select customers to road-test the platform and understand user needs. The company listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2017 and publicly launched two months later in November 2017.
The app world is highly competitive with so many look-alikes in the market. How can companies differentiate themselves and acquire more customers?
The app world is hyper-competitive and only getting more so, particularly in the big two stores, where Google Play has over 3.5m apps and the Apple App Store has over 2.2m. Standing out in markets that big is super hard, especially in the games categories. App owners rely on ASO (App Store Optimisation) to gain more organic awareness, but they are increasingly reliant on advertising and paid promotion to stand out.
We estimate there are around 10m apps worldwide right now, but when you consider there were only 250k apps in 2010, you begin to understand the phenomenal growth the app market has seen in recent years.
appScatter’s mission is to help app owners of all sizes to realise there is a world beyond Apple and Google. Most people, even in professional app development circles, are only aware of the two big app stores. In fact, there are more than 300 app stores worldwide.
Having all these new and exciting app stores to explore is great, but for most app owners the administration of distributing, monitoring and managing apps is a burden – which is where appScatter can help!
We all have so many apps on our devices that we rarely use. Once they acquire customers, how can companies keep them engaged?
It’s true that there are many apps users don’t use and developers are constantly looking for new ways to engage us to increase usage. Saying that, the number of hours per day spent with digital media has leaped from 20 minutes in 2008 to 3.1 hours in 2016, which equates to an extra 2.8 hours we’ve found to spend on our devices in the last decade!
As with so many other forms of content, if an app is good it’s going to retain users and keep them coming back for more. So we always tell clients that more app stores won’t help a bad app.
As a subscription-based business, have you found the freemium pricing model to be an effective growth strategy?
We love the freemium model! appScatter has a really generous free account that encourages users to sign up and play with the system. Free users get to build their own app watchlist, check compatibility with other app stores and see their own revenue and download data across multiple app stores.
The real magic happens when users begin their subscription. Starting with a 30 day trial, users get unlimited submission to multiple app stores and automatic app store registration. Once they’re on a paid contract, users can deploy unlimited app updates across all app stores and activate third-party add-ons from our Marketplace.
Tell us a little about your other growth strategies.
Our partnerships are a key growth strategy. Users can integrate data from hundreds of third-party services, from mobile advertising networks, analytics providers and to more generalist business tools like CRM and finance applications. We’re striking commercial deals with these partners where they introduce appScatter to their user base and we pay the service provider for successful introductions, often with a discount for the user too.
For example, take our partnership with Airpush, one of the largest ad networks. Airpush promotes appScatter to their 200,000 users and we pay Airpush for every new subscriber. Airpush users not only see more downloads by being available on more stores, which in turn generates more ad revenue, they also have the convenience of seeing all their revenue and download data in one place. It’s a win-win-win for everyone!